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Starting a strategic role in an uncertain environment

I started a new role as a Leader of Innovation at my company. I also realise that the team I took over is having several new faces. Our customer contact points have also changed with new people coming into the existing roles. There is such a flux in the environment that I do not have mind space to do anything innovative. Most of my day goes in fire fighting or figuring how things are done in the new organisation. How do I be the leader I want to be?
						~ Senior leader, Transportation industry

With the recent churn in employee loyalty due to the great resignation and unsolicited lay-offs, there has been a shakeup in several leadership roles. There is an inflow of new leaders into strategic roles. This is across the board for partners, customers, teams and the like. These new leaders who are taking over are finding it challenging to face a new team, a new set of customers and a new organisation - all at the same time.

How to make better sense of the situation and act judiciously?

1. Acknowledge your emotions & stop judging other's

When there is change/transition, there are always emotions associated with it. The last place you worked looks like heaven and somehow the current one looks like hell.

You are new & finding your way around other newbies is frustrating.

To stabilise operations, it is going to take some time. And that's ok. While you are going about the motion, notice the emotions that come up and acknowledge them.

Help yourself & your team let go of the baggage of the past.

2. Give encroachers space with boundary

Ring fence the trouble makers in terms of time.

When you are working on fire fighting, escalations, operations, everyday transactions, do those well with all your attention without thinking about what else you should rather be doing within a stipulated time.

In the beginning, the encroachers will take more space in your day. However with consistent practice with your attention, their time will go down as time is inversely proportional to attention.

3. Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise

Ruthlessly analyse your to-do list about whether they are the right tasks you need to be doing.

Delegate, postpone, ignore and schedule the most important, not urgent items in your list first before you move to the encroachers. Holding the right ball is important. Holding all balls is not.

4. Place a premium on your energy & attention

When your energy is high, attention increases & time decreases.

Hence develop your energy as a daily practice whether it is by physical activities, meditations, mindfulness, spiritual practices or whatever works for you. Without renewal in this space, our mind starts recycling stuff and creates clutter that we can work well without.

What works for you when everything around you is in a flux?

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